Hi-Vis Clothing Safety Regulations

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Hi-visibility clothing is a protective way of ensuring you can be seen and stay safe.
There are many environments at work where employees are at risk of injury due to moving vehicles such as forklift trucks or lorries. This may be due to the drivers being unaware of pedestrians nearby because of restricted views, especially if the vehicle is reversing.
In most construction and warehouse environments the use of high-visibility clothing is essential to reduce the risk of injury; therefore providing a safer place to work.
The Science of Being Seen
Reflective materials used on hi-visibility clothing use a method known as retro reflection. This works by reflecting the light rays in the direction from which they came.
This works in two ways:
  1. Glass Lens Technology: This method uses millions of high performance round glass beads, which provide 100% surface reflection and reflect light in all directions due to their round shape. This is the most effective way of reflecting light.
  2. Micro Prismatic Technology: This method uses a polymeric film on which retro reflective microscopic prisms are formed. This creates a bright reflective appearance. The prisms reflect in specific directions but due to the flatness of the prism surface cannot reflect light in all directions.
The Law on High-Visibity
Employers have a duty to ensure the provision and use of personal protective equipment at work in accordance with The Personal protective equipment (PPE) at work regulations 1992.
Under health and safety legislation, the employer is legally responsible for the Health and safety of all employees and also visitors on site. If a risk has been identified which requires a person to wear a high visibility garment, the employers have a legal responsibility to supply, free of charge, a garment that must comply with the European standard EN471.
All personal protective equipment should carry the CE Mark, which signifies that the PPE satisfies certain basic safety requirements.
Employers should promote good practice to ensure the health and safety of employees and carry out risk assessments where necessary.
What is PPE?
PPE is defined in the regulations as all equipment worn or held by a person at work that protects them against one or more risks to their health and safety.
Hi–visibility clothing is among the protective items classified as PPE.
When to Wear Hi-Vis
Ideally all pedestrians and vehicles should be kept separate. Where this is not possible i.e. in loading and unloading areas, the use of EN471 compliant hi-visibility clothing is an excellent way to improve the visibility of pedestrians, and therefore reduce the chance of being hit by a moving vehicle.
Wherever there may be a risk from moving vehicles in close proximity to pedestrians in a working environment, it is important to protect yourself from harm.
Consider the following when choosing hi-visibility garments:
  • Working environment – inside or outside
  • Lighting conditions – Natural or artificial light
In daytime requirements differ in that a colour contrast needs to be achieved, whereby the fluorescent fabric stands out against the background.
Where visibility is poor, colour contrast cannot be seen; therefore what is known as luminance contrast is required by using retro reflective materials.
The darker the conditions the greater the amount of high-vis will be required to ensure visibility i.e. full-body hi-visibility rather than waistcoat only.
To be effective the colour of hi-visibility workwear needs to allow the wearer to stand out against an ambient background. The best colours are yellow, fluorescent yellow or orange. Retro reflective material should be incorporated where necessary to ensure visibility in low lighting environments.
Many of the designs in our range are windproof and waterproof, with a variety of linings to protect you from the elements.
Hi-visibility clothing is a cost effective way to improve visibility and prevent accidents occurring, greatly reducing the risk of injury.
So Night or Day, WORK SAFE, PLAY SAFE - BE SEEN!
All our high visibility range comes in a variety of styles and sizes to suit your requirements. They are primarily designed to be worn over other clothes and should fit comfortably without causing any restriction to movement.
Follow manufacturer's instructions for the best way to care for your high visibility garments.
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